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Facts About Cannabis Addiction And Detox

“Cannabis” is a word often used interchangeably with marijuana. However, marijuana is derived from the cannabis sativa plant. This plant contains the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is what most people use to get high.

THC is the substance in cannabis that offers psychoactive effects to users and leads to regular use and addiction. 

Facts About Cannabis Addiction And Detox

Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

The Effects of Cannabis

Cannabis can affect the brain both while using and over the long-term. Although cannabis is slowly becoming legalized across the United States, that does not mean it is without dangers.

Marijuana may seem like a relatively safe drug as it can be prescribed to treat medical disorders, but misuse of such a drug can lead to problems.

The short-term effects of cannabis use are:

  • Altered senses and perception of time
  • Changes in mood and behavior
  • Impaired body movement
  • Difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
  • Impaired memory
  • Hallucinations and delusions when in high doses
  • Psychosis with potent strains

These effects tend to wear off within hours of using the drug but can cause risky behaviors and lead to accidents like fires or motor vehicle crashes. 

Cannabis/Marijuana In The Body

Cannabis also remains in your system for an average of a few months, meaning drug tests will come back positive even if you haven’t been under the influence in a long time. There is currently no test to determine how much of the drug is in your system or when you used it. Because of this, marijuana use can lead to job loss and legal trouble.

With long-term use, marijuana can affect brain development, especially in teens who are still developing. When taken regularly, cannabis can affect thinking, memory, and learning functions.

When cannabis is regularly used and smoked, users can experience respiratory problems similar to those who smoke cigarettes. Symptoms like coughing, phlegm production, and the risk of lung infections are common. 

People with underlying heart problems may experience an increased heart rate when using marijuana, putting them at risk of a heart attack. Long-term use can lead to cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which shows itself through symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. 

Furthermore, cannabis is considered a gateway drug or a drug that leads to the use of more hardcore substances, increasing its risks. Also, the effects of cannabis can be alarmingly intensified when used with other drugs. Polysubstance abuse has risks all its own.

Cannabis Addiction: Yes, It’s Possible

Many people don’t believe marijuana or cannabis to be addictive, but some studies have shown mild withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit. In fact, a recent study showed that roughly 30% of those who use marijuana might have some degree of marijuana use disorder. These may not be as dangerous as the withdrawal symptoms from a substance like alcohol but should still be attended to.

Some examples of cannabis withdrawal are grouchiness, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and cravings. These may not lead to physical harm but can cause someone to return to using. 

The signs of a cannabis addiction include:

  • Using more marijuana than intended
  • Failing to quit using marijuana
  • Spending a lot of time using marijuana
  • Craving marijuana
  • Using marijuana even though it causes problems at home, school, or work
  • Prioritizing the use of marijuana
  • Using marijuana in high-risk situations, like while driving a car
  • Needing to use more marijuana to get the same high
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping marijuana use

If you or a loved one is showing these signs of addiction, it is time to start considering detox and treatment. 

Detoxing From Cannabis

Cannabis detox does not currently offer any specific medical treatment but does include support and therapy. If symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or headaches persist, medications may be prescribed to aid with those symptoms.

Without the drugs offered in other drug detoxes, seeking assistance with marijuana withdrawal may seem moot, but attempting it alone can be risky. Without the aid of professionals, the desire to use can be overwhelming and lead to a relapse.

Not to mention, suddenly stopping the use of cannabis on your own can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. Facing those emotions alone can be a challenge. The care offered by a treatment center includes mental health experts prepared to help you navigate those feelings and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Some other benefits of detoxing from cannabis with professional help are the support and care. Alone, you may feel too down to take care of yourself when you need that the most at the time. Medical supervision in a treatment facility will ensure you get enough fluids, proper nutrition, attention for mental and physical pain, and exercise.

Perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of detoxing from cannabis in an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility is the access to long-term support through peer groups and the community.

Cannabis/Marijuana Use Comes With Risks

Cannabis is not as safe as many people believe it is. Although it can be appropriately used with medical supervision to treat specific symptoms of some health issues, it is also a commonly abused recreational drug. Cannabis, although natural, is not without physical and mental risks. Using cannabis leads to impairment within the mind and body, leading to accidents and even death. Long-term use can slow down brain functions and cause severe health problems to the lungs and heart. It seems like cannabis should be harmless, but it is, in fact, an addictive substance that could negatively interfere with your job and relationships and risk trouble with the law.

If you become addicted to cannabis, reach out to to help you seek treatment through a detox facility that offers you the best chance at recovery. With the support of professionals, you can beat your addiction and live a fulfilling sober life. Start your journey with today!

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